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ALFANO, F.: Cello Sonata / Concerto for Violin, Cello and Piano (Magill, Dunn, Darvarova)

Composer(s):Alfano, Franco
Artist(s) Magill, Sam, cello • Dunn, Scott, piano • Darvarova, Elmira, violin
Period(s) 20th Century
Genre Classical Music
Category Chamber MusicConcertos
Catalogue 8.570928
Label Naxos
Quality   320kbps
Download and Stream

Franco Alfano’s completion of Puccini’s opera Turandot has eclipsed his own reputation, although the profound ability of this talented composer is finally emerging into the light. The works on this disc display contrasting aspects of his musical personality. The large-scale Cello Sonata, with its echoes of Debussy and Ravel, grows from serene beginnings to turbulent intensity before subsiding into elegiac resignation. The more neoclassical Concerto, actually a piano trio, weaves hints of Renaissance polyphony with Basque and eastern European folk-music into a shimmering fabric of virtuosity and lyricism.


Review By Robert R. Reilly,,November 2010

The restoration of 20th-century Italian non-operatic music continues apace, with the Naxos release of Franco Alfano’s Cello Sonata and the Concerto for Violin, Cello and Piano (8.570928). This is gorgeous chamber music, full-throated, declamatory, characterful, and moving. The Concerto is supposed to be more neoclassical than the romantic Cello Sonata, but it is so imbued with feeling that it does not strike me as neoclassical at all. This release makes me eager to hear Alfano’s three String Quartets and his Quintet for Piano and Strings.

Review By Gene Gaudette ,Synaphaï: Gene Gaudette’s Blog,December 2009

This is Italian romantic music at its finest, played with passion and commitment and beautifully recorded.

Review By Franco Sciannameo, College of Fine Arts,Carnegie Mellon University,July 2009

In his New Grove’s entry on Franco Alfano (1875–1954), leading authority on 20th-Century Italian music John CG Waterhouse added the composer’s name to those of Pizzetti, Malipiero, Casella, and Respighi, the “traditional” quadrumvirate that identified the fathers of Italian modern music. With that acknowledgement, Waterhouse administered theoretical and critical justice to Alfano’s artistic creativity, which for too long had been confined exclusively to Alfano’s lauded and criticized completion of Puccini’s Turandot.


Review By Ralph Lockwood, Professor of Music Emeritus, School of Music, Arizona State University,,July 2009

The dark side of the moon of my musical knowledge—“luna incognita”—was brought into lush audibility and relief by the premiere recording (presented by Naxos) of very captivating music by Franco Alfano (1875–1954).

Featuring an elegantly expressive and superbly matched ensemble of eloquent artists.

Now that the “eclipse” (at least in my consciousness—perhaps in the world of music’s as well) of the Naples-born Alfano is ended, my own sleuthing for more of his music will gleefully begin, aided immeasurably by the excellent liner notes by Samuel Magill.



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